Farewell to Winter! Update 4/2/17

The snow was melting quickly Sunday under the strong April sun, but I did sneak in a 20 mile ride after work. Lakes were slush pits, so I stayed off them.

I took the opportunity to ride some of the local “side trails” that I seem to miss all winter. Looks like nobody had run this one in quite a while before I tracked it:


Besides that, I ran S85/Ski Hut trail a few times and C8/Sabael Trail out to Furnells Field.

Much of the Sabael trail was good riding like this:


But, there were places where flowing water was destroying the trail from underneath. Here was the worst spot today:


The big holes don’t surprise you. The smaller holes where the trail begins to collapse are the ones that can get you; there were several spots on the Ski Hut trail and Sabael trail that could surprise you.

Once you get out into the open, the trail is totally at the “mercy” of the relentless sun. The Crow Hill Road shelf was still holding up Sunday afternoon, but the trail leading into town from there is getting skunked:


I made my way out C8 about a mile past the former Arctic Cat dealer. It was still in pretty good shape, but I didn’t venture out much further only because I just wanted to bop around town.

Then I found this spot on the banks of the Cedar River and hung out for a while in the 50*F warmth. Just a great place to hear the birds, see the deer dance and hear (and see through the trees) a few other sleds passing in the distance:


Not a high miler by any means, but this ride hit the spot perfectly for April 2nd. My last ride? Well, I’ve learned never to say never until ALL of the snow is gone. But if I’m done, I went out on a great note!

With deep snow remaining in the woods, the die-hards can get their fix this week. With a couple of significant rain events on the horizon for this week, I think the Fat Lady is warming up her vocal cords.

Summing up this winter

Except for the 3 week doughnut hole from late February until mid-March, I gotta say it was a pretty good year for snowmobiling in ilsnow land. I know some people have a different view because they had to trailer a lot to hit the places that had snow. But I live here, so I get to call it the way I see it. I logged nearly 2250 miles for the winter, which is on the plus side of par for me.

Lack of snowfall was certainly not a problem. March 14th brought the biggest snowstorm (23 inches) we had since the legendary Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007 dumped around 3 feet.  Our seasonal snowfall total of 127.5 inches to date is the biggest since the 132.9 inches set back in 2007-08. With the vast majority of April left, we could catch it.

Our biggest problem was that it never stayed cold for weeks at a time and a warm-up was almost always around the corner. But I can’t recall a winter that bounced back so many times and so quickly after warm spells like it did this winter.

Parting words

There are 3 reasons why ilsnow.com works:

1. I have something to say
2. You listen to what I say
3. Terrific businesses supporters who believe in ilsnow.com

Thank YOU for trusting my information to plan your snowmobile trips. My goal is always to maximize your ride time, because let’s face it: none of us snowmobile as much as we’d like to.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Steet Ponte Auto Group. Many of the vehicles here in Indian Lake are bought from the Steet Ponte. Co-owner Joe Steet is a huge fan and booster of ilsnow.com. If you’re looking for a new truck, give Steet Ponte a good look.

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